Soka Gakkai Educators Gather for Annual Forum on Humanistic Education
On September 21, 2008, Soka Gakkai educators gathered for their 31st "National Forum on Practical Applications of Humanistic Education" at the Kudan Kaikan in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Some 1,100 educators and guests from various fields of society throughout Japan attended the forum. The educators reported on their challenges and initiatives to put humanistic education into practice in the classroom.
In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda stressed that greatest focus should be placed on bringing brilliance into the lives of youth and children and this should be the foundation of all educational endeavors.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the first Soka Gakkai Educational Counseling Center (SGECC) in 1968, Nobuaki Kawanishi and Etsuko Kamata introduced SGECC's history and activities. Pre-school teacher Yuko Murai from Miyagi spoke about her volunteer counseling experience. She was able to help a junior high school girl who visited a local SGECC overcome her truancy through helping the young woman improve her relationship with her family. Takeo Watanabe, a teacher at a special-needs school in Gunma, spoke about the positive change of a hospital inpatient student through repeated encouragement and dialogue about the study of history, a subject which interested the student.
Attending as a guest, Toshiharu Tani, professor emeritus of Tokyo Gakugei University, lauded the Soka Gakkai educators’ dedication to practicing humanistic education based on the Buddhist spirit of empathy with others as well as on the methodology of pedagogy. Soka Gakkai Education Department Chief Hajime Miyamoto called on those attending to challenge their personal growth to better serve the wellbeing of their students.
[Adapted from an article in the September 22, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]